Understanding El Che

Che Guevara is given a lot of room by my contemporaries, radicals and liberals alike. Because of his practical and applied radicalism, they regard him as a sort of martyr for all kinds of movements. One of my teachers, Peter McLaren, even wrote a book about Paulo Freire and El Che, comparing their leftist politik from aContinue reading “Understanding El Che”

Hope and the Moral Dimensions of Teaching

“The schools are failing, the schools are failing!” Empty rhetoric about public education keeps filling newspapers here in Washington state and across the country. For more than a decade, or a hundred years depending on how you count, detractors and retractors, extractors and segregationists have been claiming that the cornerstone of American democracy and culturalContinue reading “Hope and the Moral Dimensions of Teaching”

Adultism Causes Youth Disengagement

THIS is adultism. Adultism is the primary motivating force in our society that causes the incidence of disengagement among young people. As an inherently curious and constructive species, humans are innately engaged. Through the deliberate and inadvertent transmission of social mores and values in Western society, adults enculturate adultism throughout institutional and cultural means. AdultismContinue reading “Adultism Causes Youth Disengagement”

A Fear of Students?

I don’t write this lightly. After all these years of teaching educators and education administrators about student voice, student engagement, and my frameworks of meaningful student involvement, I’m led to believe there’s something more insidious behind the reluctance to not engage students as partners in learning, teaching, and leading in schools. I’m led to believeContinue reading “A Fear of Students?”

Service Learning versus “Activist Learning”

From the late 90s through the 2000s, I participated in a number of service learning programs across the U.S. Some were hyper-local, such as the program in Taos, New Mexico, focused on building cultural and social connections between the Taos Pueblo and youth in the neighboring town. I worked at the state level in Washington,Continue reading “Service Learning versus “Activist Learning””

Supporting Adults in Youth Work

There are a lot of reasons to support youth engagement, including it’s affects on young people and the larger communities they’re part of. Today I want to share an excellent opportunity to find out how youth engagement affects adults and to support them in the process. Kyla Lackie of Seattle’s SOAR (http://www.childrenandyouth.org/) and I areContinue reading “Supporting Adults in Youth Work”

Empower Students to Turn Around Schools!

Another abysmal year for academic achievement has flown by. Test results released here in Washington state and across the country show that K-12 public schools are failing in hordes. With a gridlocked Congress and state legislators strapped for cash, where to turn? To the students! That’s right: Let’s empower the very people we aim toContinue reading “Empower Students to Turn Around Schools!”

The Purpose of Schools

I am an advocate for radical democracy, which focuses on creating inclusive, engaging, empowering, and connecting together all aspects of community for all people, regardless of gender, social, political, cultural, economic, educational, and other differences. My advocacy for radical democracy includes education, which is any process for learning, and schooling, which acknowledges a socio-political agendaContinue reading “The Purpose of Schools”